Engineering for Biology:

Multidisciplinary Research Experiences for Teachers (MRET) of Elementary Grades

The University of Florida Multidisciplinary Research Experiences for Teachers (MRET) is an integrated program to bring together K-5 teachers, engineering faculty, engineering students, and industry professionals to cultivate the next generation of STEM professionals and catalyze North Central Florida’s STEM education ecosystem. Elementary educators influence fundamental skill development and disposition of students toward math and science from the youngest ages, and the goal of MRET is to prepare K-5 teachers to bolster student interest and enthusiasm for STEM fields. MRET will include four distinct elements designed to heighten elementary educators’ STEM awareness and expertise, including: (1) a 6-week immersive research experience for K-5 teachers; (2) curriculum development assistance through weekly summer meetings led by elementary education experts; (3) exposure to STEM careers through weekly summer seminars from local industry professionals; and (4) engineering student involvement in K-5 classrooms during curriculum development and throughout the school year. Teachers receive compensation similar to teaching summer school for their participation in the program, with bonuses throughout the year for continued engagement in professional development opportunities.

MRET has been generously funded by the National Science Foundation Grant #1711543:

We also receive support in-kind from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention.

Are you interested in joining the MRET program?

To make sure you receive an email when applications become available, you can add your email here: 

Potential future projects are:

  • Novel Materials for Engineering Nerves (Materials Science and Eng.), Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Andrew
  • Engineering Restoration Substrates to Rebuild Oyster Reefs (Environmental Eng. Sciences), Faculty Mentor: Christine Angelini
  • Investigation of Living Shapes with 3D Bioprinting (Mechanical & Aero Eng), Faculty Mentor: Thomas E. Angelini
  • Magnetic particles for biomedical applications (Biomedical and Materials Science & Engineering), Faculty Mentor: Jon Dobson
  • Eco-Hydrodynamics of Underwater Plants (Environmental Eng. Sciences), Faculty Mentor: David Kaplan
  • Mechanical effects on nucleus of cells (Chemical Engineering), Faculty Mentor: Tanmay Lele
  • Farm to Fork: Low-Cost Nanobiosensors for Monitoring Plant Health and Food Quality (Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences [IFAS]), Faculty Mentor: Eric S. McLamore
  • Building and Testing Tornado-Resilient Housing (Civil Engineering), Faculty Mentor: David Prevatt
  • Smart Sensors for Monitoring Coastal Bridges (Civil Engineering), Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Rice
  • Modeling Transport in the Brain (Mechanical and Aerospace Eng), Faculty Mentor: Malisa Sarntinoranont
  • Mechanics of biology and wound healing (Mechanical and Aerospace Eng), Faculty Mentor: Chelsey Simmons